Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A Question for Professor Bainbridge

I recently finished A Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin and am now a couple of hundred pages into A Clash of Kings. I thought Thrones was amazing, and Kings is starting off well. The prologue to Thrones was the most engrossing beginning to a fantasy series I have ever read. It contained a heavy dose of horror, which is probably why I liked it, reminding me of a cross between Stephen King's The Eyes of the Dragon and John Carpenter's version of The Thing. This probably should not be too surprising, since Mr. Marting won a Bram Stoker award in 1987 (actually he tied for it, but the point remains) for the novelette "The Pear-Shaped Man."

My question to Professor Bainbridge regards this post of his, in which he seems a little less than excited about the incipient release of the fourth book of the series. I am curious why not. The update and the post suggest that it is because Mr. Martin has slowed down his output and the story has become somewhat bloated. Not having read most of the second yet or the third at all, I'm wondering if the story has become bloated in Professor Bainbridge's opinion. Overwriting is one of my problems with Stephen King's later work and the reason why I think his short stories retained so much punch even to the end of his career while his novels began to taper off. So, I could see why that would be a problem.

As for slowness, that's not as much of a problem for me. Mr. Martin's books are long enough to be the equivalent of two to three regular novels. For instance, the one I'm reading is 969 pages. I'm not going to complain if he takes a few years to write a book if it's that long, assuming the writing is still pretty lean. And I've only read one chapter in the first couple hundred pages of Kings that showed any signs of bloat. Anyway, I'm just curious as to what the good Professor has to say, because it was a post of his from earlier this year that inspired me to read the books in the first place.


Post a Comment

<< Home